Tuesday, June 21, 2005

the good the bad and the drywalled

This summer, I was lucky enough to land a very prestigious clerkship with the well-known firm, “Dad”. Okay, it isn’t as glamorous as you might think. But the benefits are unbeatable.

Today, this young intern taught himself a bit about drywall. See, I’m not as knowledgeable about this kind of fixerupper stuff as some people, although I’ll admit I am known far and wide for my ability to fake it. So a couple of days ago, when I stopped into the Offices of Dad, I was terrified when the office manager gave me a list of odd jobs to do. Obviously, she’d been taken in by my overarching (albeit fake) aura of natural talent, and assumed tasks like “hang shelves in storage room”, and “fix cabinet hinge” and “oil squeaky door”, and especially “re-hang suction canister” were everyday occurrences for me.

She might just as easily have added “sit in for father on next wisdom tooth extraction”.

Anyway, I decided to bite the bullet and drove over to Home Depot, where at the very least I knew how to get lost. (John and I worked there a few summers ago and only learned how to dodge customers and avoid work, just like the real professionals. We most certainly did not learn about drywall.) My hope was that I might magically happen down some aisle, that like Brigadoon only appears every so often, and contains a tool of the gods that can hang shelves, fix cabinets, oil hinges, and re-hang suction canisters. I assumed it would be made by Ryobi.

Well, no such luck, but I did find the drywall screws. And the shelving units that the office manager asked for. And though I couldn’t find bens 100, I did pick up a can of WD40 – which never goes out of style.

My confidence bolstered by the fact that I had only wasted 45 minutes in HD, I hurried back to the office and walked in like a vigilante cowboy might saunter, squinty eyed, into a saloon. If only I had my tool belt, I bet the squeaky door would have inherently known to whistle that “oo-ee-oo-ee-ooooo, wa, wa, waaaaa” Clint Eastwood theme, instead of just a shrill whine that sounded more like “WD40, my ass…”

I attacked the shelves first. I hung the unit in the wrong place and didn’t buy enough supports, but I got it up and functioning, so we’ll call that one a tie.

The cabinet innerworkings looked like something out of Frankenstein’s lab. I tightened a few bolts, tweaked a couple of hinges, but they still didn’t hang quite right. I decided to wait until there was a lightning storm, and moved on.

My previously bolstered confidence wasn’t too happy with a 0-1-1 record, but I tried to fix the suction thingy anyway: “Okay, Garvey, you can do this. The screw anchor that had been there just tore through the wall after a few years of use, and short of simply replacing the whole office, I have no clue what to do about it. Move it over? Then I have a big hole in the wall next to it. Fill in the hole and start again? Well, there is plenty of toothpaste around I could use, but I think dad needs that stuff for his patients. Wait, the anchoring screw I got is bigger than the one already here, I might as well try it out in case… What the f… It worked?!? I AM THE GREATEST HANDY-GUY IN THE WORLD. ALL SHALL BOW BEFORE MY FIX-IT-ABILITIES.”

After that, the squeaky doors were no match for my over-inflated ego. And my can of WD40.

1 comment:

Scott said...

Ahhh, grasshopper, someday you too shall own a home. Your final test will be your first "honeydo" list.